Summary of Advisory Opinion 3

Summary of Advisory Opinion 3; Request by DeKalb County Commissioner-at-Large Jaqueline Scott for Advisory Opinion > August 13, 1993

NOTICE:  Due to changes in the Ethics law and resulting interpretations of its provisions, please contact the Ethics Office if you are relying on the advice of this individual Advisory Opinion.  

Facts

Jaqueline Scott is a DeKalb County Commissioner-at-Large. Commissioner Jaqueline Scott is married to Tom Scott, the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner.

Issue

Commissioner Jaqueline Scott requested an advisory opinion as to whether it is appropriate for her to vote on matters dealing with the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner’s Office, in light of the fact that she is married to Tom Scott, the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner.

Conclusion

The board of ethics concluded it is not a conflict of interest per se for Commissioner Jaqueline Scott to vote on matters dealing with the Tax Commissioner’s Office. The board also concluded that Commissioner Jaqueline Scott should refrain from voting on matters dealing with the Tax Commissioner’s Office when her vote violates the Code of Ethics.

Discussion

The DeKalb County Code of Ethics requires any member of the governing authority to disqualify himself from participating in any official act or action of DeKalb Country directly affecting a business or activity in which he or she has any interest, whether or not remote. A member of the governing authority shall be deemed to have an interest in transactions involving any person in the member’s family. 22A(e)(1); (b)(7)(a).

The DeKalb County Ethics Code, moreover, provides that no official or employee of DeKalb County shall, by his or her conduct give reasonable basis for the impression that any person can improperly influence him or her or unduly enjoy his or her favor in the performance of his or her official acts or actions or that he or she is affected unduly by the rank or position of or kinship or association with any person. 22A(c)(1).